USA Today reports in a story released this afternoon that the Cardinals have finally offered Albert Pujols a contract extension... And that Pujols has rejected it, likely putting an end to talks.
The paper's Bob Nightingale quotes "a source close to Pujols" who said if something spectacular doesn't happen in the next 48 hours that the .331 hitting first baseman will cut off talks on Tuesday. Apparently Pujols is firm in his no negotiations during the season stance. And why wouldn't he be, since the Cardinals took six weeks to offer a contract that was summarily rejected?
According to the anonymous source, Pujols is sticking to his guns on his demand for a 10-year deal. The best hope to sign him was to offer a high annual value contract for a shorter period of time and hope he took it. Apparently, he isn't interested in that. Or else the Cardinals have a very different idea of what "high annual value means" that Pujols does.
I just can't believe how terribly the Redbirds have played their hand in the entire Pujols situation. Regardless of the dollars or years involved, you have to treat people with respect and honesty. And it's an impossible stretch to believe that the Cardinals' stalling and posturing in any way qualifies as respectful or honest.